In December, ALROSA’s Udachny Mining and Processing Division completed the removal of 75 thousand tons of diamondiferous ore from Verkhnyaya Muna for the trial processing at Processing Plant No. 12 and recovered first diamonds from Verkhne-Munskoe deposit. The development of processing technology is required to prepare for commercial launch of the deposit scheduled for 2018.
The removal of trial batches of ore from Verkhnyaya Muna began in October and ended on Saturday, December 23. Ore entered the processing plant to test the processing technology and confirm the content of diamonds. The Processing Plant received the ore to test the processing technology and confirm the content of diamonds. The trial processing was in regular mode. The final recovery shop received the first diamonds on December 25.
In trial processing, specialists from ALROSA and design institutes performed ore sampling, determined the degree of load on various processing chain sections and performance modes of the equipment. At the same time, the degree of diamonds damage rate at processing of this type of ore was tested. For this purpose, a technology experiment was conducted using rough diamonds with special color coating in the operation of mills, and recovering these diamonds at the final recovery shop. The marked crystals will be sent later to Irgiredmet Institute where minerologists will determine their integrity, damage types, and based on this background will draft a report with recommendations for increasing rough diamonds integrity.
“Even now we can say that no additional reagents or water will be required for the processing of new ore. In general, crystals from Muna differ from rough diamonds from Zarnitsa or Udachnaya in form and color. Rough diamonds from Udachnaya are sharp-edged, and those from Muna are more rounded with lemon and brown ones among them. When rough diamonds arrive at the Diamond Sorting Center, we will get a more detailed report. In March, we will also receive a report and recommendations for work with the ore from Verkhne-Munskoe field prepared for us by Yakutniproalmaz Institute, said Alexander Makhrachev, Director of Udachny Mining and Processing Division.
The next batch of ore from Verkhne-Munskoe deposit, 250 thousand tons of ore and 50 thousand tons of diamond-bearing sands, will arrive at the Processing Plant No. 12 in the fourth quarter of 2018 as part of commercial development of the deposit.
The development of Verkhne-Munskoe deposit is ALROSA’s largest investment project. The deposit is located 170 kilometers from Udachny Mining and Processing Division. Four kimberlite pipes have been explored so far: Zapolyarnaya, Deimos, Novinka, Komsomolskaya-Magnitnaya. Their aggregate inventory is 64.8 million tons of ore with the average grade of 0.6 carat per ton, totaling 38.4 million carats. The deposit development period is until 2041. The commissioning of the enterprise is scheduled for 2018. Once the design capacity is reached in 2019, the enterprise will produce 3 million tons of ore per year. The project will create more than 700 new jobs in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).